Opening: Toronto International Film Festival, September 2012

Single channel HD colour video, 5.1 sound

17 minutes 28 seconds

Director: John Akomfrah

Producers: Lina Gopaul and David Lawson

Peripeteia takes as its starting point two drawings by the 16th century artist Albrecht Dürer, Head of a Negro Man (1508) and Portrait of the Moorish Woman Katharina (1520).

The portraits – one of a bearded black male, the other of a black woman wearing a close fitting bonnet – are among the earliest Western representations of black people, their existence now “lost to the winds of history”.

These elusive characters evolve into the film’s ghostly protagonists, wandering in a contemporary moorland landscape, the past insinuating itself into the present.

Peripeteia is the first part of a proposed trilogy that creatively looks at the traces, appearances and disappearances of early African life in Europe.


Toronto International Film Festival


Eli and Edythe Broad Museum